Taha F. Marhaba, Ph.D., P.E., F. ASCE, is professor and chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and during his tenure as chairman, the department has experienced unprecedented advances in academic, scholarly research; outreach; and public service programs.
Recipient of NJIT’s Excellence in Teaching Award for undergraduate instruction, lower division in 2008, Marhaba has conducted fundamental and applied research in various areas of civil and environmental engineering, related to water quality, drinking water treatment, and environmental systems management. His scholarly work is published in books/book chapters, refereed journals, and technical reports.
He has an expertise in water quality and most notably has developed what is known as the spectral fluorescent signatures (SFS) technique, which is used to rapidly identify organics in water – organics that could be problematic. The SFS acts like a fingerprint of water, characterizing its organic content and allowing researchers to see if the water contains natural or unnatural sources. Most importantly, the SFS allows researchers to determine the organic character of watersheds and to check the water’s quality. In addition, Marhaba also has an expertise in droughts, and has been one of New Jersey’s leading commentators on the consequences of the current drought.
An ABET program evaluator, he has demonstrated a strong appreciation and dedication to high-quality civil engineering teaching and learning, thereby receiving numerous teaching honors and awards, including the Master Teacher at NJIT (2013), the highest designation of teaching excellence in the university.
Marhaba, who earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Rutgers University, was presented the 2010 Distinguished Engineer Award from its alumni engineering society “for achievements that have contributed significantly to the national economy, security, public welfare, [and] quality of life, or to the solution and advancement of a specific technical need in engineering.”